Opener Shikhar Dhawan capitalised on sloppy bowling and fielding by the Zimbabweans to hit his third ODI century as India recovered from early jolts to post a daunting 294 for eight in their second one-dayer here today.

Dhawan, who got at least three lives, struck 116 from 127 balls and shared 167 runs with Dinesh Karthik (69) for the fifth wicket to take India to a big total after they were reduced to 65 for four in the 17th over at the Harare Sports Club.

The Zimbabweans, who put the visitors in, spilled regulation catches and their wayward bowlers conceded 28 extras. Dhawan was dropped twice when on 14 and 70 and the Indian also benefited from a no-ball by Kyle Jarvis in the fifth over when he had added just three runs to his name.

The 27-year-old Indian, however, hung on and hit his third ODI ton in his 17th match to save the Indians the blushes. He hit 11 fours and two sixes.

Karthik played his part with a composed 74-ball innings which was studded with six fours as the duo denied the Zimbabweans any success for 25.4 overs.

India ended their innings in style with tail-enders Vinay Kumar (27 not out) and Mohammed Shami (6 not out) scoring 23 from the last over with the help of three sixes and a four.

Captain Virat Kohli, who hit a match-winning hundred in the first match two days ago, could only score 14 runs while the other opener Rohit Sharma (1), Ambati Rayudu (5), Suresh Raina (4) and Ravindra Jadeja (15) were also out cheaply.

The Indian innings was marred by Kohli’s face-off with on-field umpires after he was given out to a controversial catch in the seventh over. He stood his ground even as Zimbabwe sought a review as the fielder – Malcolm Waller – was not sure whether he had caught the ball cleanly or not.

Kohli refused to leave even after the third umpire adjudged him out. He argued his case once again with the umpires who confirmed the decision. Eventually, a visibly upset Kohli reluctantly walked back to the pavilion.

All Zimbabwean bowlers were expensive except for Brian Vitori who had figures of 2/27 from eight overs.

India suffered an early jolt with opener Rohit being dismissed in the second over as pacer Brian Vitori got his scalp in his first ball. Rohit went for a drive to a delivery just outside the off-stump only to find an edge for Vusi Sibanda to take the catch.

Dhawan was out when on three in the fifth over but survived as it turned out that Jarvis had bowled a no-ball.

Then he was dropped on 14 in the ninth over with captain Brendan Taylor spilling a regulation catch, the unfortunate bowler being Jarvis. India were 38 for two then.

Rayudu, who came in at the fall of Kohli, was also dropped in the 10th over when the batsman was on three as Vitori spilled a caught and bowled chance.

India lost two quick wickets as Rayudu and Suresh Raina were out in the 14th and 17th overs respectively. Rayudu ended his struggle as he went for a drive without moving his feet while Raina also continued with his poor run in form as he was caught behind by Taylor. Rayudu consumed 25 balls for his five runs while Raina made just four from 11 balls.

Dhawan and Karthik then played the rescue act with a solid stand. They kept the scoreboard ticking by taking singles and rotating strike in the middle overs.

India took the batting powerplay in the 33rd over and scored 85 runs from the 10 overs to go past 200 in the 40th over.

Karthik and Dhawan were in full flow at that stage though the former survived a dropped catch. The duo took 13 runs each from the 40th and 42nd overs bowled by Prosper Utseya and Vitori respectively.

After Karthik and Dhawan were out in quick succession in the 43rd and 44th overs respectively, the lower order ensured that India go near the 300-run mark.